The museum relates the history of Fredrikstad town up through the ages. The museum is located in the Tøihuset inside the fortress; a former military storage house dating back to 1776. In addition to the museum’s permanent exhibition on the town through the ages entitled "Changing times – the town remains", the museum comprises various special-topic and touring exhibitions throughout the year.
The museum shop carries a broad selection of literature, specialising on local history.
Monday – Friday: 09:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday – Sunday: 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm
Conducted tours of the museum can be booked on: (+47) 69 30 44 78.
For information of the museum’s extensive programme of lectures etc.
Every day – year round.
How to get there
From the north:
Take the E6 Highway to Råde, then follow RV 110 road to Fredrikstad, across the city bridge, then follow the signs for "Gamlebyen".
From the south:
Take the E6 Highway to Skjeberg, then follow the RV 110 road to Fredrikstad, and follow the signs for "Gamlebyen".
Fredrikstad Tourist Bureau is located in Tøihuset in the Old Town, with the entrance near the church. It has its own souvenir and gift shop. The tourist office organises conducted tours of the Old Town throughout the year.
Tøihusgaten 41, NO 1632 Gamle Fredrikstad
Phone: +47 69 30 46 00
Where to stay
The Old Town's Pension House offers reasonable accommodation in attractive and historical surroundings.
The old Artillery Building provides a unique and exciting setting for the guest house. Originally built to store goods and provisions, the house was later converted into the Fortress’ so-called "slavery" to house convicts, and has also served as a military billeting area.
The pension house enjoys a favourable location, away from cars and traffic, and abutting the ramparts and moats that surround the Old Town. Guests arriving by car have a large parking place at their disposal.
Please contact Gamlebyen Pensjonat on phone +47 69 32 20 20.
Free market every Saturday in Gamlebyen
Every Saturday from the beginning of April until the middle of December, there is a free market in the Old Town. If you can't find what you are looking for at the market, there are many shops in the streets of the Old Town that abound with objects of applied art and fine art exhibitions.
The fortified town is a vital community full of shops, houses, business and industry and an active art scene. This summer you can enjoy a bustling cultural life throughout the season, and pick up some bargains from the second-hand market every Saturday.
Fredrikstad was fortified by surrounding ramparts already in the late 1600s. When Norway lost the County of Bohuslen and the fortress of Bohus to Sweden, the fortress of Fredrikstad became a vital supply base, and formed a border town towards the east together with Halden.
The first construction phase
When Norway lost Bohuslen with the fortress of Bohus in 1658, Fredrikstad became an important border town. Construction of an entirely new fortress began in 1663, based on drawings by the Dutch officer and engineer Willem Coucheron. Fredrikstad Fortress became the Army’s most important supply base and mobilisation area in southern Norway.
Fredrikstad is one of three cities in Norway to have been surrounded by fortifications, and the only one where the fortifications are still intact. Fredrikstad Fortress was constructed according to the old Dutch system, with wide moats filled with water and deep earthworks. Towards the land side the fortress sports three whole and two half bastions; projecting diamond-shaped points to hold defensive cannons. The ravelins are in the moats, and outside the main fortifications there are outlying fortifications such as Kongsten Fort. Towards the river, the fortifications consist of a solid granite wall which is reinforced with earthen ramparts. Entrance to the fortress was via the drawbridge and through the wall gate, or via one of the gates facing the wharfs on the river Glomma.
No glorious military history
In contrast to Fredriksten Fortress at Halden, there is no glorious history to speak of for Fredrikstad Fortress. The fortress was only attacked once; in August 1814. By this time, the fortress was old, in a poor state of repair, and weakly manned. It took Crown Prince Karl Johan Bernadotte of Sweden only a few hours of bombardment before the fortress surrendered. A simultaneous peace agreement had been negotiated in Moss, which was signed by Karl Johan in his military headquarters in Fredrikstad.
The fortress was abandoned in 1903, but the Gamlebyen (Old Town) continued to be a garrison town up to 2002, when the last soldiers marched out. Since its disuse as an army base, all the military buildings have been brought back into use for other activities, and the old fortified town continues to be a lively urban community.
Fredrikstad Fortress – also known as the Old Town (Gamlebyen) is one of the best preserved fortified cities of Northern Europe, and a lively urban community complete with shops, housing, business and industry and a flourishing cultural scene. Visit markets, open-air restaurants, galleries and workshops.